Road to Recovery

Remembering Tom Regan: A voice of recovery and hope in ND

Road to Recovery

From the 1969 Woodstock Festival to working with the recovery community, a Bismarck man’s life of service will never be forgotten.

The community suffered a great loss when Tom Regan died on Valentine’s Day this year. But with that loss, comes the legacy he left behind. The legacy of loving as many people as he could.

Patti Regan, Tom’s wife says, “I couldn’t resist, he was just charming and sweet and caring and funny and before I knew it, three months later we were married.”

They celebrated 40 years of marriage in 2020. Tom’s known as a family man and his daughter Ellen says she and her dad shared many interests, including music.

Ellen says, “Led Zepplin of course, Janis Joplin. We loved Neil Young, The Doors, Gypsy Foot, which is a local artist. Loved sending him that. I sent a lot of Reggae stuff to him cuz that’s what I’m into. Sometimes I’d hear him listening to it so that was always cool.”

Ellen and her mom say he cared about everything and everyone.

Patti says, “He’s very much an animal lover and very much concerned about anybody in the community who has struggles or who had barriers that they were facing.”

Besides his love for music and animals, he worked with United Way for 15 years and went on to get a degree in addiction counseling later on in life working at Heartview Foundation with Executive Director Kurt Snyder.

Snyder says, “I know, as a young man, his love for music, he left Woodstock and hitchhiked back to his radio gig that he had and made it back just in time to go on the air. And his Recovery Chronicles, I was always just impressed with Tom. You could talk to him and he’d be like anybody. But at soon as he was in front of a mic he had this magnificent that would just come on and be really magical.”

He used his voice to tell personal recovery stories of people in the community because he’s been through it too. When KX News shared Tom’s Recovery Story in 2019, his main message was this:

“We cannot afford to spin our tires, we can’t afford to go backwards. Recovery is something we have to work on and nurture every single day,” said Regan.

Part of nurturing his recovery meant staying physically active, walking and running with Judge David Reich and the Runners Against Destructive Decisions group.

Judge Reich says, “Tom was just a wonderful volunteer for our RADD group. A wonderful supporter. He was always there if I needed somebody to bring coffee or do something, Tom would always volunteer.”

That’s why the RADD group and Heartview is hosting a special run in Tom’s name.

Snyder adds, “I wanna do right by Tom. Tom mattered a lot and ‘Tom’s Run’ is our chance to kinda
show him and his family how much he mattered to us.”

And how much he mattered to everyone who had the privilege of knowing him.

Tom’s Run is open for registration until May 14th and takes place a week later on May 21st.
You don’t have to be a runner to be a part of the memorial. Proceeds will be donated to RADD to benefit those in recovery from addiction.

For information on how to register go here.

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